The Valerie Fund's mission is to provide individualized care to children at medical centers close to home, because we believe the most effective way to heal the children in our care is to treat them emotionally, socially and developmentally, as well as medically.
When Valerie Goldstein lost her battle to cancer at the age of 9, her parents, Ed and Sue, were determined to help other families in similar situations gain access to more comprehensive care in child centered atmospheres close to where they lived. They had spent most of Valerie's short life traveling from their home in New Jersey to get her the most advanced pediatric cancer treatment in their area, which was in New York City at the time. That meant a 90-minute drive one way on a daily basis. For six years the Goldsteins made that journey, bringing Valerie to doctor's appointments, chemotherapy, radiation, emergency visits, surgery and hospital stays. All the while leaving their other young daughter Stacy, just two years older than Valerie, home with babysitters. Valerie often felt nausea after chemotherapy and still had to endure the long trip home. The travel disrupted family life and forced them to rearrange work schedules. The whole endeavor took an emotional and physical toll on the entire family, sapping their energy at a time when they needed it most.
Ed and Sue were convinced that there was a better way to approach children with serious illnesses and their families. They envisioned a place that could provide families with regional outpatient treatment centers at top pediatric hospitals within an hour's drive of most of the state's population, providing state-of-the-art medical and emotional care in a happy, upbeat child focused environment.
In 1977, just one year after Valerie passed away, Ed and Sue saw their vision realized when they opened the first Valerie Fund Center at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, just 20 minutes from their home.
Today, when you walk through the doors of a Valerie Fund Center you are greeted by a team of social workers, psychologists and child life specialists that support you throughout your journey to ease the burden so your family can concentrate on healing.